Disney Working on More Than One Star Wars Series For Streaming Service

Eileen GuzmanFeb 08, 2018

We expect Disney's theme parks to be an important driver for its long-term growth due to its global expansion. Are they all going to be live-action, or will Disney get to work on some new animated Star Wars TV shows as well?

Increased attendance was seen at worldwide parks, with Shanghai Disney Resort receiving between 65,000 and 68,000 visitors on one day in October, Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a conference call with investors. Revenue grew to $15.35 billion in the quarter ended December 30, missing projections of $15.44 billion.

This announcement comes at a rather troubling time for ESPN. The streaming service will be priced at $4.99 per month, Iger said.

ESPN Plus will be Disney's first attempt at a direct-to-consumer streaming service. Considering the dearth of sports-centric streaming services, sports fans may not have much choice anyway.

"The Netflix output deal expires with the '18 slate", Iger said. Last August, when Iger first took the wraps off Disney's plans for the OTT product, the Disney boss indicated that subscribers to the then-unbranded service would have access to some 10,000 live events that could not be seen via ESPN's linear TV channels. Hence, this new streaming package being one of them. There will also be non-live content, like documentaries, available for streaming.

Instead, he said, Disney is dipping its toes in streaming while trying to preserve its traditional business models. But such a timeline is quickly becoming a relic of the past. With so many big-name studios and franchises under its belt, Iger said Disney can spend less on quantity and worry more about branding.

"That's very hard to balance and be successful", Greenfield said.

Hulu's loss was caused by higher programming and labor costs, partly offset by subscription and advertising revenue growth. And Disney plans to features thousands of hours of old and existing movies and TV shows.

Sadly, it's not clear what these TV shows are. Like Comcast and Fox, Disney owns 30% and Fox's 30% is included in the deal - though some observershave wondered if Disney might either be forced by regulators to release it or choose to so as not to compete against itself.

The $52.4 billion pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets not surprisingly dominated the call, more so than the company's actual quarterly numbers, which were fairly solid.

In the previous quarter, the company's theme park division's stood out for a 6 percent revenue increase despite Hurricane Irma while the the rest of the company's revenue and operating income dipped in media networks, consumer products and studio entertainment divisions. The company has said it will pull its content from Netflix when that happens.

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